When using a menstrual cup, ensure that they are safe to use by using a trusted brand. It must be kept clean, just like any period care product, and not left in for long. Prolonged use could cause challenges in the future.
A French study found that using a menstrual cup increases the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), despite being a trusted period care product for decades. The study in Lyon, compared several tampons and cups and found that the latter can cause Staphylococcus aureus– the dangerous bacteria that causes TSS.
But how do you know when TSS occurs? It is when certain types of bacteria suddenly start to multiply and vomit deadly toxins, and the syndrome often results from toxins produced by a bacteria.
What Is Toxic Shock Syndrome?
Mayo Clinic defines TSS as, “A rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, but the condition may also be caused by toxins produced by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.”
It further adds that it is mostly associated with the use of superabsorbent tampons. Its common symptoms include high fever, low blood pressure, diarrhea, rashes, confusion, muscle aches, redness of eyes, and headaches.
Back To The Menstrual Cup Study Now…
This study has its flaws though, as it was performed using sterile plastic bags derived from hydrocarbon, and not an actual human vagina. The complexity of a vagina both physically and chemically just cannot be simplified with a bag.
However, the study has not been fully concluded yet, in contrast to current reports. This means while there are still questions about its usage, it cannot be completely dissed just based on this one study. All you need to do is follow proper hygiene and a few rules when using a menstrual cup.
What You Really Need To Know About Using A Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups are not more dangerous to use than tampons, but as it is not protective, should still take similar precautions of usage. This includes hand washing, less than six hours of use, sterilization between uses, and avoiding use overnight when sleeping.
Additionally, menstrual cups do protect you from TSS, but realistically speaking, zero risk of TSS is not possible like with any period care product. But still, it is important to decrease your chance by ensuring a clean, properly-used cup.
You can continue to use the cup at night as well for the recommended usage time of 10 to 12 consecutive hours.
Also, to make sure the menstrual cup is clean enough for your peace of mind, ensure that the it stays clean before and after insertion, just like any other reusable product.
Find trusted brands with cups made from the highest medical grade silicone, which is BPA free and contains no chemicals, and then you can be rest assured that it is relatively safer to use than other menstrual cups.
Now, let’s take a look at where we can get our hands on a menstrual cup.
Best Menstrual Cups You Can Try
1. LENA Menstrual Cup, $54.90
Most suitable for women with a heavy flow, LENA is a bell-shaped reusable silicone menstrual cup. It is made in California from US medical-grade silicone and dyes that do not leech any toxins or chemicals.
2. Freedom Menstrual Cup, $35.00
Freedom Cups are menstrual cups and can be likened to reusable tampons, inserted into the body and leak-free for 10-12 hours a day. They cannot be felt once inserted, and each cup is reusable up to 15 years.
3. Chiobucup Menstrual Cup, $49.00
The Chiobucup Menstrual Cup in Pink size Large is created of 100 percent medical grade silicone.
4. Mooncup, $52.00
Made in the UK and worn internally, the Mooncup is a bell-shaped menstrual cup about two inches long and made from soft silicone rubber.
So, should you try a menstrual cup? Those already comfortable with tampons might be keen, especially if you are looking to be more environmentally-friendly and cost-savvy.
Otherwise, it is recommended for one to try and master tampons first, get comfortable with those before taking the plunge to menstrual cups.